31 Dec 2016


Immerged from my punishing thoughts to find I was gripping the steering wheel so intensely my knuckles were white and the bones of my hands were aching, I wanted to loosen up but I needed something to hold on to, something to bring me back to reality, something as lifeless and prosaic as this hard-leathered object to remind me where I was and deliver me to the present once more.

‘Relax, breath, relax, breath’ I repeated, ‘things can only get better from here, things can only improve’ as I wished hard for my life to get back on track, for some kind of normality, for a safe shore to swim to.

‘My life? This sad little joke? This ridiculous, pathetic, endless sad chain of events’ the same old miserable demeaning voice inside me sneered, as I looked to the distance, the swarming traffic, the deafening noise, the mammoth of stress and anxiety I was carrying, and the emptiness of these crowded long roads that lead to nowhere.  I tried to see promise, I tried to see hope with my tired, brimming eyes.  I have never had so little! such little faith, such little strength, such little courage. I let my tears defeat me, as I have so often done before.

22 Dec 2016

A walk with my mother

Walking along the forlorn seaside today I watched the everchanging greens, blues and greys of the water. How the sky, the farthest thing from the sea, reflected itself in the water so vividly, and effected so deeply.

I gazed in awe at first, but soon grew frustrated. I knew I had to feel something! The soft, languid waves enticed something in me which I could not grasp or name. What should I be feeling now? I wanted to ask the sea. What do you want me to feel? I know I should be feeling, I know you expect me to. I needed new words, another language, a different soul.

She walked with me. For most of our long walk we were silent, but her presence was heavy, I was so aware of her and she of me, though our thoughts were so foreign and far apart.

So unquiet, loud and stirring our hearts during our wordless stroll. The emotional distance so vast, the strained bruised strings that tied us together too fragile, words would only be catastrophic. Then she pointed to the distance: “look how marvelous, the sky and the sea seem to almost meet”

20 Dec 2016


Anais Nin said: “I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me; the world of my parents, the world of war, of politics. I had to create a world of my own, a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I can breathe and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That I believe is the reason for every work of art”.

Eleven years old today, and I am amazed, I am staggered. Did I create you so that I would live again? Another life, another birth? Did I create you, so that I would recreate myself? Perhaps I wanted to rewrite my story in you! A second chance. I am selfish, broken and flawed. You are perfect, pure and magnificent. Another year older and I am blown away by all the wonder you bring to my life, by all the colour you add and the heightened, exaggerated joy, always mixed with heightened exaggerated fear, pain and sorrow. This must be what love is; excessive joy trimmed with excessive pain. At times when I am lost inside myself, inside the swamp of my mind, I am weak and ill enough to question whether you exist at all! How is it possible that I have something/someone so beautiful so wonderful? All I know is that I had to create you, my poor sick mind had to conjure you. You had to come.

17 Dec 2016

Broken wing

It’s usually a feather,

a single silky feather, shed on the side of the road

not unusual or tragic, just a long elegant feather

with its magnificent precision and all it stands for:

freedom, hope, strength and compassion.  

But today I found a wing, a whole wing - Broken.

Perhaps, in my own despair, after walking so long

and searching so hard, I have magnified the tragedy.

But a wing, is not a feather.

Losing a feather is losing an eye lash, a strand of hair

Losing a wing is losing an arm. No! not losing an arm;

losing a wing is losing a heart.

A wing is a loss.

A tragedy. A life of crippling deprivation,

losing a wing is an end.

I wanted, in my despair, to lean on to a wall

my feet could not carry me

I wanted in my loneliness to fall to my knees

I wanted in my brokenness to plead to God, or curse him

there was a bird out there without its wing

and I understood.

10 Dec 2016

Seeing 'A' after many years

I sat with him on a huge rock by the sea. It was night time, a bitter cold wind blew, I held my black shawl tighter to my chest and felt myself cloaked in darkness. We spoke of shallow, meaningless things; his latest trip to America, my endless troubles. There were so many silences deep and profound. During which I turned my face away from his and felt the heat of his gaze on my freezing cheek, both of us understanding but not saying a word. I kept my eyes on the wild raging waves. The winter wind had turned the crashing waters into something terrible, something unnatural. The black depth of the sea seemed to churn like the inside of a dark stomach, the intestines of a great giant. Heavy waves, textured and thick as if made of mercury, slapped lethargically with a violent sucking sound. A glimmer of blue on a crest where the half-moon shone.    

The free bird

There is a large bird cage in the front garden of my parents' home. A chicken coop, where many birds were once kept including a few chickens. The wire mesh that constitutes the walls of the large cage is now full of holes. The wear and tear of the years and lack of care and maintenance. All the smaller birds have flown away, the chickens are also gone, the street cats got to them.

Now the large cage is bare and abandoned, except for two old turtles who seem to have lived forever and will never age or die. The ancient creatures bury themselves in the sandy ground of the cage during the cold months of the year, and munch idly on a leaf of lettuce during the warmer months.

For years and years the husk of a cage stood, tired looking and eerie. The shadows of boxy bird houses hanging from the sides dark with a fathomless single eye.

A wild bird flew into the cage in search of leftover seeds. The free bird comes to the cage often.